April 10, 2005

La Fama bakery

So while wandering the streets yesterday exploring neighborhoods and searching for apartments, I ran across a Mexican (?) bakery that looked interesting. Big clean empty room, ringed by glass-fronted cases containing trays of rolls and cakes and cookies, all apparently marked 35 cents each. It was around lunchtime, how could I resist? La Fama Bakery, 1751 W Chicago Avenue, turns out a fine selection of rolls and sweet pastries, much more consistent and delicious than some Italian and Latino bakeries I've tried. The review linked says things are heavy on the sugar; I disagree. Sweet, yes, but certainly not overly so, and I found on the whole these treats were less gooey-sweet than most American desserts.

I had a big bag of stuff, which I photographed with my new camera-phone (yay! foodnerd continues to be illustrated, even though tallasiandude kept the camera in Boston!), but sadly I didn't stop to read the manual first, so I lost the image because I forgot to save it, in all of my pastry-anticipatory excitement. The image above is of three delightful items that were not completely consumed by my afternoon's worth of dipping into the bag every so often, in lieu of stopping for lunch.

The best of all of them was a round, flat, thin crispy disk covered in cinnamon sugar. This is awesome. Sweet, spicy, crispity-crunchity, a little bit flaky-tender. Like the best pie-crust cinnamon roll EVER. You can see the last couple of shards of this at left in the photo above. If anyone knows what these are called, let me know. These alone are worth a trip.

There were a couple of bread rolls swirled into pretty shapes, both with different flavors -- one more bland & airy, the other a little richer but still light. There was a tiny raised donut, a mini-loaf of yellow cake topped with pecans, a round soft cookie-cake studded with raisins (very nice), another round soft cookie-cake that had a topping of what appeared to be icing and coconut that had been baked so it separated into a pretty mottled pattern on the surface, and the gooey coconut ball you see in the picture above. It's two half-spheres of bright yellow cake, glued together with berry jam, coated with more jam, and rolled in coconut. This would seem like it might be super-sweet & too goopy, but really it is quite light and tasty. I am eating it for breakfast this morning. Again, if anyone has names I can assign to these things, let me know -- the girl at the counter was nice enough, but not exactly chatty, and there were no signs anywhere.

The business card I picked up says: La Fama Bakery -- We are not the biggest, just the best. I have to say, I think I agree. Yum!

Posted by foodnerd at April 10, 2005 10:40 AM

hey food nerd! great blog! stumbled across it just now. both my parents are from Mexico and I grew up on that stuff! I agree, those flat pie-crust things are DIVINE, so good with some cafe con canela, and those spherical, jam-and-coconut covered things have always been a favorite of mine. I have only known them as "ojos de gŁey" (ox eyes), but you might know that gŁey also means "sucker" or "guy who's been cheated on by wife/girlfriend" and is not a nice word, so who knows? Of course, my dad is the one who always calls them that, but then again, he also calls kiwi fruit "huevos de chango" (means: monkey balls), which is what I thought they were really called until my third grade teacher corrected me in front of the WHOLE CLASS. :-)

Posted by: Lisette at May 1, 2005 02:13 AM

hee! that's a great story. I am moving down to the neighborhood of this bakery, so I am going to be having those treats again (and again and again...), so perhaps eventually I will learn enough spanish to be able to ask their names. Yum.

Posted by: foodnerd at May 1, 2005 11:23 AM
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